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All good things must come to an end…

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Due to an update from the government regarding groups meeting, we will not be able to meet at Barbury after tomorrow until further notice. We had a good run over the summer but this must now come to an end. If you wish to meet tomorrow (10th) then this may be your last chance to see the group for a while. We will continue to monitor the guidance and review as and when it makes sense but we would have been fighting against the weather and light over the coming weeks anyway so we shouldn’t be too disappointed.

Don’t forget that there are now two club nets you can join to keep in touch. One on HF and the other on 2M via GB3WH. Check the programme for more information.

5th Backpackers Contest 2020 – M1CJE Report

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This weekend saw the 5th and final backpackers contest for the year.

The backpackers is a short 2m contest generally tacked on the end of one of the longer 24h VHF contests.  This weekend it was the 144MHz trophy contest.

I entered the hill toppers section which is limited to 25W.  25W takes its toll on the batteries which along with the radio make up the majority of the weight to be carried.  I operated today from the top of Martinsell Hill in grid square IO81di at about 285m ASL.  The weather was kind with sunshine for most of the afternoon.  The activity was brisk, I operated for about three hours and in that time managed to make 50 contacts ranging from Scotland to France, with Wales and the Netherlands on the other two compass points.  I was using a homemade 2m loop antenna mounted at 6m AGL.  Martinsell summit has good take-off to the South and East and views to match. Overall an enjoyable day out in the late summer sunshine.

73’s M1CJE

Tonight @8 Webinars

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The RSGB is hosting a series of webinars on its YouTube channel. There is a playlist for them at

There is further information available at

144MHz FMAC 2020 – April Update

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Despite everything, the club has rallied well and we are still in 1st place in the RSGB 144MHz FMAC contest and by a reasonable lead too!

John Richens, G1MHZ Silent Key

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It is with sadness we share the news of the passing of John, G1MHZ. John was an active local amateur many years ago but hadn’t been active since 2011. John still had subscriptions to radio magazines and as such there are hundreds of radio magazines which require disposing of or passing to other fellow hams. If this is something you might be interested in, please let us know.


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A series of 90 minute duration daytime contests that has been introduced on a temporary basis to help and support radio amateurs who are isolated at home and would appreciate contact with other people.

This contest series is open to all entrants and is not restricted to RSGB members. This series is for Single Operator Fixed Stations only (please no Multi-Operator, Portable or alternative address operation entrants at this time). A requirement of the series is that participants must be in full compliance with all measures in respect of Covid-19, that are currently applied by the authorities at their station location. This series does not contribute to the HF Championship and is not linked to any RSGB Affiliated Club contests.

Congratulations to John, Chris and Jim!

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We thought we would share the good news and our congratulations John who passed his Intermediate and to Chris and Jim who passed their Foundation exams.

We also received a note from John…

On the 21st March, Andrew managed to drag me through another exam. This time it was my Intermediate. I would like to thank SDARC for providing the training facilities. One more huge thanks to Andrew for all his time and patience. Also thanks to Mike for arranging the exam accommodation. I am also grateful to other members for their advice and encouragement. Sorry if I have been a pain with all my questions and, if I asked someone the same question again 5 minutes later, apologies but that tends to be the norm at 76.

I would like to emphasise the fact that Andrew is prepared to train an individual as well as larger groups. The advantage this gives a single trainee can be enormous. e.g. If I joined, and was trained by my local home club, then I would not be passing this exam until April 2021. This is because they require a number of trainees before they run each course. I appreciate that all courses are run by volunteers so I am not criticising my local club in anyway.

A rumour has reached this grey haired 76 year old that, now Andrew has me “done and dusted” again, he is now really looking forward to training someone young and intelligent.

Many thanks once more.

John, M7JJC (For only a few more days)

Club Meetings – Covid-19 Update

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Good afternoon Members,

We, your committee, are sorry but in keeping with best practice advice in the circumstances of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Parish Councillors have decided to *CLOSE Pinetrees Centre as of today* and until further notice.

This means that from today, SDARC will have no physical meeting place for the foreseeable future.

On the bright side, one of the key advantages of the hobby we share is that we have our radios. To try to ‘fill the gap’ while we have no meeting place, the committee has suggested we operate radio nets and maybe other means of ‘getting together’ remotely.

As a start, we are proposing to run a net using GB3WH tomorrow (Thursday) in place of our regular physical meeting. The plan is that the net will run from around 1930 and be an open forum to discuss ways that we might wish to ‘stay together’ as a Club and help each other through the current issues. The Repeater Keeper for WH is on-board with this plan. Thanks.

It is appreciated that some Members might live in locations where access to WH is either limited or impossible and to that end James has created a “doodle” poll so we can gauge which bands might be best to use for such nets. If you would like to add in your preferences to this poll, please follow the link below.

We hope that this health issue will be over in the not too distant future and that we will be able to get back to normality and back to Pinetrees, but in the meantime, please make use of your radio(s), call in on the net(s), keep in touch with each other and enable Members to support each other through the weeks ahead.

This is the first time since WWII that the Club has been forcibly closed and we hope it will be the last time and for a very short period!

73 all, keep well, keep safe and keep busy!

Den  (for the SDARC Committee)

To voice your preferences about future nets, please follow this link :

Members’ Construction Competition Rules 2020

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Soldering IronWe are holding the Construction Competition on March 26th!

The aim of this annual Spring contest is to encourage members to build either radio equipment or ancillary items which enhance their radio operations and to exhibit these to encourage others to follow their example.

Entries can include any radio-related equipment or software, for example, Morse oscillator, test unit, QRP rig, computer/radio interface, PSU, Tx/Rx, linear, antenna, ATU…..

Entries can have been built at any time, but to be accepted as an entry, they must not have been entered in any previous SDARC construction contest.

If YOU have built something that helps you operate, why not enter it?  Remember it is not necessarily the most complex equipment that wins!

Provide sufficient details with your entry to help judges understand the purpose and operation of the entry….”Sell” the concept and its usefulness through your description, diagrams, circuits etc!

The contest will have five principal Product categories:-

Homebrew – This will be for equipment built completely by the club member. (If the equipment is a magazine project with a PCB available, then, the PCB may be used.)

Kit – This will be for equipment built from a kit. The kit should require some soldering to component level.

Hybrid – This will be for homebrew equipment which also contains one or more kits.

Antenna – This will be for special homebrew antenna systems. For this type of contest entry, the member will just need to provide photographs of the antenna together with a specification, a drawing and details of the construction. A list of countries worked with the antenna should also be provided.

Software – This category will be for radio-related software. This can be either, a new piece of “stand-alone” software, or a piece written to add extra features to some existing software.

In addition, three Constructor categories may be brought to bear:-

Novice – This will be for those members who have not previously built or exhibited any equipment.

GeneralThis will be for those members who have built and entered previously.

Professional – This may be awarded to experienced constructors whose work is of an exceptional standard.

The number of Awards will reflect the scope of entries and may include awards made to deal with tie-break situations.

The judges’ decisions on all the awards are final.

Please complete an entry form beforehand so you can bring it on the night. You can download the entry form here.